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Angola

Information about Angola

General information

Луанда

Official name of the country: Republic of Angola
President: Jose Eduardo Dos Santos
President of the National Assembly: Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos
Premier: Antоnio Paulo Cassoma
Political system: multiparty democracy combined with a semi-presidential power system, formed by the following state power bodies: President of the Republic, National Assembly, Government and courts
Party in power: MPLA
Main oppositional party: UNITA
Political and administrative division of the country: 18 provinces with 163 municipalities.
Ethnic origin of the nation: mainly Bantu peoples
Political origin of the country: Portugal’s colony (for 500 years).
Date of declaration of independence: 11 November 1975, after 14 years of armed national liberation struggle.
First government: MPLA.
First President: Agostinho Antonio Neto (1975-1979)
First arrival of the Portuguese: 1482 (Diogo Cao)
Foundation of the first town (Luanda): 1605
Formation of the MPLA: 1956
Beginning of the armed struggle: 1961
Day of National Independence: 11 November 1975
Death of Agostinho Antonio Neto: September 10, 1979
Presidential inauguration of Jose Eduardo Dos Santos: September 21, 1979
Signing of the New York Agreement: September 22, 1988
Signing of the Gbadolite Agreement: June 22, 1989
Signing of the «Protocol of Bessassi»: May 31, 1991
First national elections: September 29-30, 1992
Signing of the «Protocol of Lusaka»: November 20, 1994
Assumption of office by the Unity and National Reconciliation Government: April 11, 1997
Signing of the Memorandum on mutual understanding (Peace Agreement), as a supplement to the Protocol of Lusaka: April 4, 2002

Angola today

ЛуандаIt is really hard to explain how it could have happened that in this potentially richest African territory provided with petroleum, diamonds, minerals of strategic importance, precious types of wood, fish, fruitful lands with tropical and moderate climate, water resources and much more, almost 70% of the population still live below the poverty line, while earning such incomes that cannot even ensure their physical survival.
At present Angola has managed to achieve what can be called its most important accomplishment – the country has been able to uphold its independence and territorial integrity, to lay down the foundations of a democratic state, and to ensure the unity of Angolan people in solving the problem of creating a united national state, despite all acts of aggression and all actions aimed at destabilizing the country's internal situation for the last 25 years.

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Historical information

ИсторияThe territory of the country was inhabited even in pre-historical times, which can be scientifically confirmed by archaeological finds discovered in Lunda, the Congo and Namib Desert. The first people who appeared here were bushmen, skillful pygmy hunters with light-brown skin. Early in the 6th century B. C. some peoples that had reached a higher stage in their development and were using technological achievements of the Iron Age, started one of the greatest migrations in human history. They were Bantu people from the north, probably from the area that is now called The Republic of Cameroon. When the Bantu reached Angola, they met the bushmen, and other ethnic groups that were even more primitive, and acquainted them with the Bantu technologies in the field of metallurgy, production of ceramics and agriculture.
Historically, the first sociopolitical entity that appeared on this territory came to be known as The Congo Kingdom. It was formed in the 13th century and extended from Gabon in the north to the Cuanza River in the south; from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Cuango River in the east. The basis of the country's economy was formed by its agriculture. The power was in the hands of the local aristocrats – mani – who occupied the key administrative posts and were subordinate only to the king of the Congo. The Kingdom was subdivided into territorial units called m’banza, and each such unit was controlled by a mani. The capital city was M’banza Congo, with a population of over 50 thousand people.

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Geography

Пустыня

Land surface area: 1 246 700 km2. 60% of the land’s territory is occupied by an inland plateau with an altitude of 1 000 meters to 2 000 meters above sea level, the plateau having a vast network of rivers and lakes.
Climate: tropical, with two seasons - Cassimbo (dry winter season) that lasts from May to September, and a rainy season (summer) lasting from September to May.
Average annual air temperature: 27о C (maximum) and 17о C (minimum).
Geographic location: southwestern coast of Africa.
The country borders in the west on the Atlantic Ocean; in the north on the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa); in the east on the Republic of Zambia and in the south on the Republic of Namibia.
Length of borders: on the sea – 1 600 km; on land – 4 837 km.
Population: 12 000 000 (49.3% are male citizens, and 50.7% are female).
Capital city: Luanda - 3 000 000 inhabitants (their average age is 19 years).
Other major towns: Cabinda, Benguela, Lobito, Lubango, Namibe.
Main rivers: Cuanza, Cunene and Cubango.
Highest terrain point: Mount Moco (Serra do Moco) (2 620 м) in the Huambo province.
Official language: Portuguese.
Main local languages: Umbundu, Kimbundu, Kikongo and Chokwe.
Religions: Catholic (51%); Protestant (17%); Traditional Animistic Religion (30%); other religions (2%)

Policy

Президент Республики АнголаNow that peace has come to Angola, the state power institutions are functioning in a normal manner solving the urgent problem of modernizing the whole country for providing a more efficient employment of the country's resources.

Constitution

Герб и флаг Анголы

The Constitution (Constitutional Law) declared in 1975, was later changed several times. For the first time, the Constitutional Law was revised in 1991 during preparations for the elections of 1992. The next series of amendments to the Constitution were introduced in 1994, after the conclusion of Lusaka Agreements. The main purpose of the amendments has always been establishing democracy in Angola and guaranteeing the recognition of individual rights and freedoms, as well as basic principles of market economy.
The main state power institutions, independent of each other, are now engaged in discussing and developing the text of a new Constitution. This discussion is centered on the Parliament and spreads more and more affecting a still greater number of social strata and sectors as they declare that they also belong to the “society of citizens”. The ongoing discussion embraces not only a new draft of the Constitution but also a whole series of amendments that should be made to the laws now in force, for example, “The Law about the Press”, and involved in this discussion are many various public organizations.

President of the Republic

Флаг Республики Ангола

The Constitution establishes a semi-presidential state power system in Angola. The President of the Republic heads all state power bodies, he is responsible for defense of the country and for coordination of relations between various branches of government. The President is elected by general and direct ballot for a period of five years, with a right to be reelected for a second term of office.
The President of the Republic is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He appoints ministers and judges of the Supreme Court. Besides other powers, he has the right to veto laws that may endanger security of the state or its international interests.

Political life

Национальный банк Анголы

In 1991, Angola entered a development stage that corresponds to its aspiration for acquiring a status of a big, modern and democratic African country with market economy.

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